A ticket into the Chipping Norton set! Family wins seven bed £2.5m Cotswold mansion for just £25 in house raffle – and can now count the Beckhams and Jeremy Clarkson as neighbours

  • Darren Wordon, 49, entered the prize draw for £25 after seeing an advert raising funds for the Prince’s Trust
  • The family of four, who currently live in Bath, scooped the big prize and won the £2.5m home in the Cotswolds
  • They can now count on the likes David and Victoria Beckham and Jeremy Clarkson as their new neighbours  

A father-of-two can now count himself part of the exclusive ‘Chipping Norton set’ after he won a luxury Cotswolds mansion worth £2.5m when he entered a charity prize draw for just £25.

IT consultant Darren Wordon, who lives in a three bedroom detached home with his family in Bath, saw the raffle advertised on television to help raise funds for the Prince’s Trust charity. 

The 49-year-old purchased the £25 ticket but never expected to scoop the jackpot prize which has landed him a seven bedroom property in the Cotswolds idyll with 2.3 acres of land.

The market town is famous for being home to raft of celebrities who divide their time between London and the countryside, including presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the Beckhams, Amanda Holden, and former Prime Minister David Cameron. It is also home to Soho Farmhouse, the country branch of the Soho House club chain.

Mr Wordon and his wife Mandy, 48, and two children Maddison, 20 and Matthew, 17, who moved to the UK five years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa, are currently living in a three-bedroom detached house in Bath. 

Their new dream home also has a two-bedroom detached cottage on the grounds, and it boasts an open-plan kitchen, a beautiful wood burner in the living room and a study overlooking the countryside. 

Darren Wordon, 49, won the big prize after purchasing a £25 bundle advertised on TV raising funds for the Prince’s Trust 

The beautiful home, worth £2.5m comes with seven bedrooms bedrooms and includes a two bedroom detached cottage

The property boasts a beautiful open plan setting, with a kitchen complete with a breakfast bar and an adjoining dining room 

The living room is open and light but also features a stunning fire place and wood burner, perfect for the cosy evenings in 

Mr Wordon said the prize is ‘life changing’ and that ‘this kind of thing just doesn’t happen to people like us.’  

‘I saw the advert on TV and hearing more about the incredible work The Prince’s Trust does for young people, I was inspired to enter the draw,’ he said. 

‘Having two children myself, ensuring young people have the support and opportunities to thrive means a lot to me. 

‘The house looked incredible but I never thought I’d win in a million years, this kind of thing just doesn’t happen to people like us.

‘Having seen how beautiful the house is, we have no idea if we’ll move in or sell it, it’s a brilliant dilemma to have.

‘Either way it’s a life-changing prize.’ 

The furnishings in the kitchen are light and compliment the wide open windows giving the property a natural and light feel 

There is also a study which features large windows, perfect for looking over the incredible Cotswold countryside 

The kitchen is light, open and airy and has patio doors which open up onto the 2.3 acres of land which comes with the home 

The wood burning fire is the main focus of this room, featuring beautiful brickwork and light and fresh painted walls 

The wood burner makes a perfect addition to the property, giving it a cottage feel despite its huge size 

The campaign was part of Omaze’s Million Pound House Draw, which has raised £500,000 for the Prince’s Trust charity. 

The trust, founded by Prince Charles in 1976, aims to help vulnerable young people aged between 11 to 30 get into jobs, education and training. 

James Oakes, SVP International at Omaze, said: ‘We’re thrilled that Darren and his family got to help out a charity that means a lot to them, and just as delighted that this campaign helped to raise £500,000 for The Prince’s Trust in the process.’

The property features seven bedrooms, all large and open with stunning views over the countryside and 2.3 acres of land 

The bathrooms are also light and open, featuring beautiful furnishings which compliment the stunning home 

Each bedroom has large windows, which help to give the occupant an amazing view of the Cotswold countryside below 

In total, there are seven bedrooms in the property, as well as another two bedrooms in an adjoining cottage 

The family have said they are not sure what they plan to do with the £2.5m property – whether they will sell it or live in it

Pictured – Darren, Mandy, Matthew and Maddison celebrate their big win in the Cotswolds having spent just £25 on the raffle 

Previously, Omaze has offered up properties which include a £3m mansion in London, helping to raise millions of pounds for charities including the British Heart Foundation and Teenage Cancer Trust.   

House raffles work very much the same way as buying a raffle ticket at a school fete or charity event. 

The same principles apply where people will purchase one or more raffle tickets, only in this prize draw, giving themselves the chance of winning a home. 

Once all of the tickets have been purchased, the property seller will choose a winner at random, leaving the seller of the home with the profits from selling raffle tickets. 

Apart from raising funds for charity, some people are now opting to raffle their homes to sell them more quickly and avoid leaving them sitting on the market. 

What are the rules on raffling a home – and what happens if they don’t sell enough tickets?

What is a house raffle and how is it legal? 

Raffling off a home is becoming more and more popular with dozens taking place every year in the UK.

For the seller, the idea is to sell enough raffle tickets to cover their asking price – plus cover the cost of running it.

Most set up a website to advertise their competition and charge between £2 and £5 a ticket in order to attract as many entrants as possible – but more expensive properties can be raffled at £25 a ticket.

Once they hit their target total, they then select a lucky winner at random – but the draw must be carried out by a regulated lotto firm not the owner.

Those who want to keep the money gained for themselves must either hold a free prize draw or add a competition element to the raffle.

Competitors should have to prove their skill, knowledge or judgment in order to win the top prize.

Many people get around this by asking an incredibly simple question such as ‘what style of property is this house: A – Victorian, B – Tudor or C – Georgian’ when people pay for their raffle ticket.

Others have run spot the ball games to decide the winner.

How often do house raffles fail?

More and more raffles are failing to hit ticket targets as people become suspicious of them.

In this case the organisers will fall back on their terms and conditions.

These usually allow them to keep 25 per cent of total sales to cover their time. 

They can also deduct further reasonable running costs such as legal or PR spending.

The remaining money is then given away – but it is always smaller than the value of the home that was up for sale.

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